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17° & CLEAR SKY ON TUESDAY 21 MAY IN BRISBANE
By Sarah Ward
November 17, 2018
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Mercado

A luxe food market with restaurants, bars, an oyster station and personal shopper service.
By Sarah Ward
November 17, 2018
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BOOK A TABLE

Bowen Hills has yet another new addition, and while the inner-city suburb is now teeming with places to eat, Mercado wants you to not only enjoy its onsite food experiences, but to also take them home with you.

A giant 1500-square-metre market hall brimming seafood, meats, cheeses, bread, pastries, chocolates, fruits and vegetables, Mercado aims to give Brisbane the kind of one-stop gourmet shop that it didn't know it wanted. The idea is to make the routine task everyone hates — that is, buying groceries — feel luxe, and something you actually want to do.

With that in mind, the site also offers tours and a personal concierge service in case you need a hand filling your pantry. Those after some tips while browsing Brisbane's largest seafood display can either take a guided tour or ask one of the resident 'food specialists' to help you find what you're after. Alternatively, you can place your grocery order with Mercado's personal shoppers — eventually, you'll be able to do this via an in-store iPad — and take a seat at the bar while they gather your shopping for you.

Yes, Mercado not only boasts its own bottle shop, but a bar and restaurant, too. The latter serves up dishes from the onsite butcher, delicatessen and seafood counter, such as tea-smoked duck, chargrilled quail and three different types of sashimi. Steaks and woodfired pizzas are also available — and if you'd like an oyster or several, there's a dedicated shucking station.

If you're keen on an indulgent dinner, there's also Far Eastern-inspired eatery, The Duck Room. With a Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan-influenced menu where duck — naturally — is the hero ingredient, it serves up duck and miso soup ($9), smoked duck nigiri ($32) and the Mercado signature roasted duck ($42/$79) , as well as everything from kingfish belly tartare with scampi pearls ($35), to beef short rib with kimchi ($26), to Szechuan mud crab plucked from a live tank.

And as for the drinks list, as well as a 20-page selection of wine, beer and spirits, the cocktail range is sizeable. The Duck Room ($18) — the beverage, not the restaurant — is made with cognac, cherry liqueur, blackcurrant liqueur, yuzu and orange, while a blood orange sake-tini ($18), Japanese-style whiskey sour ($18) and chocolate rum espresso martini ($18) are also available for your sipping pleasure.

Mercado will open a second site, at the Marina Mirage on the Gold Coast, at the end of 2019.

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